Lebanese Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri gestures as he speaks during a business conference in Beirut, Lebanon December 21, 2017. REUTERS/Mohamed Azakir
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Prime Minister Saad Hariri entered the fray Wednesday to calm down the mounting dispute between President Michel Aoun and Speaker Nabih Berri over the signing of a controversial decree promoting a number of Army officers, by defending the Taif Accord and affirming that the pact was intact.Hariri's remarks came a day after Berri nearly pronounced the 1989 Taif Accord dead and after he implicitly accused the president of violating it by signing the decree promoting a number of Army officers who served under Aoun in the late 1980s when he was the Army commander, ignoring the need for the finance minister's approval.In a bid to defuse tensions between Aoun and Berri, Hariri, who also signed the decree, has asked Fouad Fleifel, the Cabinet's secretary-general, to put off the publication of the decree in the Official Gazette until a solution is found to the dispute.Hezbollah, which is allied with both Aoun and Berri, has so far stayed neutral on the ongoing dispute between the two leaders.Tensions between Aoun and Berri have been rising over the decree, which overlooked the finance minister's signature.
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